End of the road?

Aug 12, 2011 | Language

Recent research suggests that hitchhiking has reached the end of the road. The AA/Populus survey has found that the number of drivers unlikely to stop for hitchhikers has risen from 75% to 91% in the last two years, just 1% of drivers have hitched themselves in the last year and only 1% said they were “very likely” to stop for someone thumbing a lift.

When my sister and I were children, my parents would regularly pick up hitchhikers and stick them between us to stop us fighting. How often some poor startled Swede or German would uncomfortably sit between two small silent girls staring at each side of his (occasionally her) head. Worked every time!

But hitchhiking is one of those activities that has its own international sign – the raised thumb! In most countries, this will be enough to indicate a lift is required, although it does vary is some countries. Although nowadays it is usually accompanied by the ubiquitous cardboard sign heralding the final destination.

What universal signs can you think of?